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Published On: Sun, Aug 25th, 2013

West Nile virus case count nears 300 nationally, 11 deaths reported

The total number of West Nile virus (WNV) cases reported across the United States stands at 296, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Of the nearly 300 cases, approximately half were the more serious neuroinvasive disease and 11 cases resulted in death.

Human WNV cases have been reported in 27 states to date with California topping all states with 59 cases, followed by South Dakota with 52 and Colorado  reporting 36.

Only seven states have reported no WNV activity, human or non-human–Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, South Carolina, North Carolina, Missouri and Oklahoma.

The total West Nile situation in the US is a far cry from the 2012 outbreak that had a final total of  5,674 cases of West Nile virus disease in people, including 286 deaths.

West Nile virus is an arthropod-borne virus (arbovirus) most commonly spread by infected mosquitoes. West Nile virus can cause febrile illness, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord).

It was first detected in North America in 1999, and has since spread across the continental United States and Canada.

Most people get infected with West Nile virus by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to humans and other animals.

In a very small number of cases, West Nile virus has been spread through blood transfusions, organ transplants, and from mother to baby during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding, according to the CDC.

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West Nile Virus Activity by State – United States, 2013 (as of August 20, 2013) Image/CDC

West Nile Virus Activity by State – United States, 2013 (as of August 20, 2013)
Image/CDC

About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show on http://1380thebiz.com/ Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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